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21 July 2017, 12:39 | Colleen Roy
US and China will try to hash out differences on economy
Closing press conference by both China and the US stood canceled as the talks between the two countries began on a less than desirable note.
Schwarzman, who also is the chairman of Blackstone, a NY private equity firm, said the summit is to "figure out how we can give advice [to respective governments] that is practical - what solutions could be relatively easy".
Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute, said US-China relations were at "an unusual stage" because Trump was still short of staff to deal with China and had yet to figure out a clear China policy.
"If this is just the natural product of free market forces, we could understand it, but it's not", Mr Ross said in the opening ceremony of the one-day meeting between the world's top two economies. "China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue", will formally take place on Wednesday.
Ross spoke at the event along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, in the lead-up to the U.S. Primarily, the United States imports consumer electronics, clothes and machinery while China's imports are mainly raw materials sent to the country for low-priced assembly.
"It means holding the United States and China to a high standard of communicating new and revised policies and regulations so that governments and individuals worldwide can better tailor their policy and investment decisions", the treasury secretary said.
While U.S. high-tech exports to China accounted for 16.7 percent of China's total imports of such products in 2001, the percentage dropped to 8.2 percent a year ago, said the vice premier.
While Trump has put trade tensions on the back burner - at least publicly - if his patience runs out on China he could revive his threat of escalating trade spats.
"Both sides spoke highly of the implementation of the 100-Day Action Plan", Mr Zhu told the press on Wednesday after the conclusion of the CED. "The Trump administration became dissatisfied and lost a little bit of patience with China on some of these things".
The Trump administration could use a national security argument to slap high tariffs on or apply quotas to steel imports not only from China but also from Japan, Europe and other exporters.
Just before the CED, there were reports that the U.S. could further block imports of Chinese steel and aluminum due to China's act of "dumping". (The result of Commerces investigation of steel imports is expected soon.) The rationale was that the American military relies on steel for airplanes, ships and other equipment.
About 20 Chinese and United States business leaders, including Jack Ma of Alibaba Group and Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, met on Tuesday in Washington to help push for expanded economic cooperation between the two countries.
The United States will be looking for specific agreements this week from Beijing on the issue of expanding the USA access to the Chinese market, top officials in the Donald Trump administration said on Tuesday. The BIT has seen 33 rounds of negotiations over the last five years, and has been "shelved by the new [Trump] administration". US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said in early June that the BIT is "on our agenda. I don't think liberalizing that market would lead to an immediate and huge change in market share", Kennedy said.
American negotiators on Wednesday might have demanded that China provide specific data on the issue.
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